“Does a long-distance relationship work?” An interesting question that has been asked to me a few years back then. I was left with no response from lack of experience, but the query was engraved in my mind and is still lingering there up to this moment.
Well sure, being in a relationship makes you feel like you are on top of the world. The feeling of happiness just by the sight of their presence. But what if the wall of distance comes in between?
Long-distance relationships or LDR in short are widespread nowadays. Due to the restricted communication opportunities and geographic distance, couples keep close connection virtually. Separated by financial and professional obligations are the top reasons why LDR exists, while in other cases some couples build a relationship from a distance through social media & dating sites. With the presence of the internet today, one may think it is quite easy to stay connected from afar. While it is true that long-distance relationships now are way easier than before, thanks to the web & app developers, from video chats to instant messages, they make the distance seem closer, but they are also a reminder of what is missing.
To answer whether a long-distance relationship does work or not, allow me to point out some good things why it is working and fewer factors why it is challenging.
Why is it a Good Thing to be in a Long-Distance Relationship?
THERE IS A SENSE OF FREEDOM
You and your partner get the freedom to explore life while being in love. There is no feeling of being trapped in a relationship because you can do whatever you want to do in life without thinking of your partner.
There are some things you just get more out of when you go through them alone. Being alone does not mean you are lonely. It is an opportunity for self-discovery. Whether you are traveling or pursuing your career, you can be more focused while doing those things. And going solo means you become more independent and you can secure your own happiness rather than being dependent on your partner.
YOU COMMUNICATE MORE
How often do you talk with your partner when you are nearby? Isn’t it a wonder how our mind has a lot to say when we are typing compared to when we are talking face to face? One benefit of LDR is that you get to know and learn more about each other since you do a lot more talking. The level of communication & understanding expands, and you get more time having great conversations than you do in person.
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT BECOMES NECESSARY
You become each other’s comfort when things are rough. Being supportive emotionally helps you bring closer together as partners.
RELATIONSHIP STAYS INTERESTING
LDR is hard but ironically, being always around your partner is not a good thing also because it makes the relationship dull. The distance that temporarily makes you apart gives you a break and avoids the chance of becoming fed up with each other’s presence. The absence of presence gives you something to look forward to and that makes the relationship stay interesting and refreshing.
DISTANCE GIVES MORE REASON TO LOVE HARDER
To work out long-distance relationships, LDR couples have to exert twice as much effort, twice as much patience, twice as much understanding, twice as much trust, and twice as much dedication. You have to give more than what is necessarily needed and that is why you love harder.
What Makes a Long-Distance Relationship Challenging?
POOR INTERNET CONNECTION
The slow internet connection is a real deal and a pain in the ass. You have to deal with the tantrums of internet connection sometimes (or often if you are in bad luck). But the desire to see and hear each other’s voice is way bigger than the annoyance you get from a poor internet connection, so you learn to be patient somewhere in between. And isn’t it funny how you still call them pretty even when the video is blurry?
LACK OF PHYSICAL INTIMACY
The yearning for someone’s presence is another most challenging factor of an LDR especially when your language of love is physical touch. There are days when you are longing for each other’s arms. You miss their warm hugs and kisses and the idea of just being together is kind of harder to beat at times. Technology is there but it cannot make up for everything especially when you are longing for physical proximity. And yet, a lot still want to walk on this process because they believe it is working despite the challenges. The reassurance that you will soon meet gives comfort to your lonely heart.
So if LDR works, based on what they believe in, then how do you keep them going? Well, here are takeaway ideas prepared for you.
How Do You Keep Long-distance Relationship Working?
- First things first, always make sure you know what you are getting into and be sure you both really want it. The word distance alone is hard, and it is getting harder as you go through the process of uncertainties and loneliness.
- Know why you both started it. Challenges are always there whether you are in an LDR or not, it will always be there to test the water. Be clear to your set goals and begin it with the end in mind.
- Quality communication over quantity. According to a research, couples are more open and satisfied communicating in long-distance than close distance relationships. Maybe because communication plays a vital part in keeping the connections healthy and alive. Make time to communicate but do not overdo it. Some people like texting back and forth all day, others find it distracting due to other business they have in life. So it is also important to know when to keep in touch and for what duration. Yes, communication is the key, but it must be balanced. You cannot have less nor more of that or else miscommunication exists.
- Spend quality time with each other. Do extra things beyond the conversation. Many apps let you do things together virtually. You can either watch movies together, drink together, play together, schedule virtual dates together, etc. It helps more if you both are creative. Creating mutual bonding from afar is a good way to intertwine your lives.
- Spend time with others also. Go hang out with your friends, family, or colleagues. You do not isolate yourself in a room and wait for their reply and call all day. Spending time with others is vital to surviving a long-distance relationship. You and your partner have a life to live out of the chatbox as well, so make the best of it. Just always remember where the line of your relationship lays to prevent any trouble.
- Embrace the challenges. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. The distance will give you more reason to fight, to argue, and more reason to stress. Going through the process may either build or break you. But you are not supposed to run away from those things just because it is hard. You and your partner are required to face it heads on and fix it together, that is part of growing as partners.
- Maturity. A successful long-distance relationship entails maturity where there is self-control and discipline. Immaturity kills the relationship. So, enough with being childish and you grow up into someone worth loving from a distance.
- Never assume unless otherwise stated. You probably heard this phrase “trust your instinct”. The tricky part of being in a long-distance relationship is when overthinking comes in between and that is where trust issues come into the picture. Do you trust each other? Then if you do, you probably do not have to overthink at all if it takes so long for them to reply or why they are not answering your calls. Do not easily jump into the conclusion of strange ideas your mind has created. Wait for them to respond and hear them out whatever reasons they have. Clear any misunderstanding immediately so that it will not escalate further
- Schedule visits. The thought of finally seeing each other is the most exciting and rewarding part of being in a long-distance relationship, so make time to plan a visit to keep the relationship sailing. In the first place, you are bound to meet at some point, otherwise what is the purpose of staying in a long-distance relationship if you aren’t meeting in person at all. Right?
Now, going back to the question that has long been overdue “Does long-distance relationships really work?” This question does not have to be asked at all. A long-distance relationship exists because it is working. It is just any type of relationship, only the efforts are a little harder. I have heard a lot of beautiful & successful stories of LDR couples that inspire us and some fail to continue the journey of love while going through the process. And that is where doubt and question come in.
Truth be told, long-distance relationships are harder than the regular ones. And yes it works, but only if both of you exert extra effort to make it work. As stated by Meghan Daum, an American author, she said that “Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It is for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It is for those who know a good thing when they see it, even if they do not see it nearly enough”.
After all, distance is just a number. A challenging number but is not tantamount to love. For love is built in full trust, commitment, and dedication. Love and not just mere affection. Trust as the greatest foundation. Commitment more than promises. And just like any type of relationship, love may not be enough, but as long as there is mutual trust and effort to fuel the relationship—it will advance. Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would likely be worth it in the end.
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